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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Busyness of Nothing

At a writer's meeting I once heard a published author mention that she was too busy to write, and then she ran through a list of things that needed to be done, all important, all centered around her writing career—but not writing. In fact, it'd been nearly a month since she'd had the time to write.

I remembered being absolutely dumbstruck. It didn't seem possible to me that someone could be so busy building a pedestal with nothing to put on top. After all, what good is the hype that surrounds the novel if the story itself doesn't measure up?

Then, the writing life hit me, which is sort of humorous since my first book isn't yet on any shelf, but despite this, I went from publicist to Novel Journey to bookstore, to working in a ministry to heading up Novel Journey Monthly . . . and aye yi yi, it happened to me!

Thursday, a friend and I mentioned to each other how little we'd written during the past two weeks. The conversation sparked the memory of the author too busy to write. It was sort of like those moments when we need to think back to childhood to know if something should strike us as shocking or not, because as adults we've become desensitized.

Now, I can easily sympathize with a busy writer. It's a fine line we're walking here.

It's Saturday. Hopefully many of you have the day off of work. Don't waste it. Decide what's really important. Spend time with God. Enjoy your family. And if you're called to the writing life, don't get caught up in the busyness of nothing.

(Oh, but if you want to leave a comment, that'll be okay. It is technically writing, isn't it?)


  1. Oh, you bet, Jessica! Thanks for sharing and reminding us not to get caught up in the busyness of "writerly" things while neglecting the actual thing that makes us writers---the writing!

  2. It's a hard balance. I guess I look at it more like seasons. When I'm writing a book, I write a lot. When it's finished, I do more marketing. But even in that, I find myself a bit lost and needy, longing to write.

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  4. Yes ma'am - I'm sitting down now!

    Sheesh - crit partners can be tough!

  5. Reminds me of something I saw on a blog once--the author was asking how everyone had any time to write. People were posting really long tips, I do this and this and thus, and then one guy wrote:

    I leave really short blog comments.

    And that was all. It was quite funny--and true.

  6. "The busyness of NOTHING."

    Perfect timing for me. I just got back from a walk with God in the snow talking to him about this very thing. I asked Him to show me time-suckers that are NOT producing fruit and leading other's to Him. Some of them are easy to discern (spending too much time on-line, etc)...and some are not (church activities that are not out-reach--God's given me a heart for the lost. I love and need to spend time with Christians, but if we don't get out in the dark with our Light, how will the lost find their way?!!?)

    I asked God to help me prune away the things that are NOT furthering His kingdom. And you know what, He's faithful enough to already answer.

    Blessings to you all. May we all listen to God's promptings and fill our time for Him.

  7. I've been writing. Feels good. Very good. Thanks for the reminder, Jess.

  8. Great post, Jess, and I feel your pain. I am making a few changes this year.


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